Skip to main content

Oceanic Whitetip Shark

Illustrator
Duane Raver, Jr.
Season
Open Year-Round

All Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish) not retained must be immediately released to ensure the maximum probability of survival, without removing the fish from the water.

*Special permit required - All private vessel owners/operators recreationally fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic Highly Migratory Shark Species for personal use in Federal waters of the Atlantic Ocean (3 to 200 miles off shore) must obtain an Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling Permit.

Consult https://hmspermits.noaa.gov or call toll free (888) 872-8862 for specific information and permits.
Size Limit
54 inch minimum (measured from the tip of the snout to the fork of the tail)
Daily Limit / Person
Boat anglers - only 1 shark of any species per vessel, except 1 additional Bonnethead and 1 additional Atlantic Sharpnose per angler onboard vessels.

Shore anglers - only 1 shark of any species per angler, except 1 additional Bonnethead and one additional Atlantic Sharpnose per shore angler.
Delaware Range
Atlantic Ocean
Abundance in Delaware Waters
Uncommon
General Habitat and Food Preferences
The Oceanic Whitetip Shark is an oceanic species that prefers deep, wide open waters.

They feed primarily on fishes, smaller sharks, rays, and squids.
General Description
The body of the Oceanic Whitetip Shark is grayish bronze to brown in color.

This species is commonly named the Oceanic Whitetip Shark for the whitish-tipped fins and tail
Did You Know?
The Oceanic Whitetip Shark received the nickname of "sea dogs" in the 1600's because they would follow ships around in hopes that discarded food or even garbage would be tossed in the water, persistently staying close by, even if sailors tried to scare them away or threw things at them.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Whole bluefish or mackerel are excellent baits for catching Oceanic Whitetip Sharks.

To draw sharks in, chumming is almost a necessity.
Typical Sizes Caught
In general, Oceanic Whitetip Sharks range from 80 to 150 pounds.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
Live Release Award
Adult: 66 inches minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 56 inches minimum

Sport Fishing Tournament Award
Adult: 100 pounds minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 75 pounds minimum

Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are eligible for the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament and Live Release "Shark" awards, but not currently eligible for an individual species award.
Delaware State Record
825 pounds
Brent Thomas
1981

Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are eligible for the general "Shark" record, but catching one large enough to qualify is unlikely.

Oceanic Whitetip Sharks are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.